Category Archives: Discrimination

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Department of Health and Human Services’ LGBTQ+ Discrimination Rule Blocked by Eastern District of New York

On August 17, 2020, the Eastern District of New York granted the Plaintiffs’ request for a stay and a preliminary injunction precluding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from implementing a recently issued final agency rule that would remove anti-discrimination provisions presently provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for LGBTQ+ patients. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules Title VII protects LGBT+ Employees from Workplace Discrimination: Practical Implications for Employers

What do a gay child-welfare advocate from Georgia, a transgender funeral home employee from Michigan, and a gay skydiving instructor from New York have in common? According to the Supreme Court of the United States, they were all discriminated against in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) when their … Continue Reading

EEOC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Guidance to Employers

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a bulletin this morning advising that Field Offices have temporarily stopped conducting in-person intake interviews due to the current health situation. Before closing its doors, though, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) confirmed in a short online article, What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and … Continue Reading

Georgia Bill Would Require Employers to Provide Employee Breaks to Pump Breast Milk

On Jan. 29, 2020, Senate Bill 327, known as “Charlotte’s Law,” was introduced in the Georgia General Assembly, requiring employers to provide reasonable breaks for pumping breastmilk. The bill was inspired by a public school teacher whose supervisor would not allow her to pump during her planned break. The teacher was given an ultimatum to either … Continue Reading

Amendments to Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act Clarify Limitations of Employer Liability

On December 4, 2019, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 1557, which makes various changes to the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Cannabis Act”), including providing much-needed clarity with respect to potential employer liability. The Cannabis Act, which legalizes (under Illinois state law) the adult recreational use of cannabis, goes … Continue Reading

Reminder: Oct. 9, 2019, Deadline Approaches for New York Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

New York employers have until Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, to train each of their employees on sexual harassment prevention. The training must be conducted annually thereafter, and must satisfy all of the statutory requirements for content and interaction. Employers who have not yet conducted training should do so as soon as possible. For more information, … Continue Reading

NY State Bans Discrimination Based on Religious Attire, Clothing, and Facial Hair

On August 9, 2019, New York state amended its Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) to expressly include the workplace protection of religious attire, clothing, and facial hair. The law becomes effective in sixty (60) days, on October 8, 2019. While religious discrimination has long been outlawed under both state and federal law, this amendment makes clear … Continue Reading

Out-of-State Workers Can Assert Claims Under New Jersey Anti-Discrimination Law

On June 27, 2019, New Jersey’s Appellate Division ruled that New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) can extend “in appropriate circumstances” to plaintiffs who reside or work outside of the state where New Jersey has the “most significant relationship” to the claims. Calabotta v. Phibro Animal Health Corp., et al. In 2008, New Jersey-based Phibro … Continue Reading

New Jersey Passes Law Eroding Bedrock of Settlement – Confidentiality Provisions Relating to Discrimination, Retaliation, and Harassment Claims No Longer Enforceable

On March 18, 2019, landmark legislation was passed that could dramatically impact the resolution of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims. under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”), and “other” statutes – presently undefined. Employers: pay close attention. The bill takes effect immediately and applies “to all contracts and agreements entered into, renewed, modified, or … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Guidance on Race Discrimination on the Basis of Hair

Setting new precedent on Feb. 18, 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) issued new guidance prohibiting race discrimination on the basis of hair. The new guidance provides legal recourse under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to individuals who are discriminated against, harassed, punished, not hired, or fired based … Continue Reading

2018 Year in Review: California L&E

There are myriad special rules for employers operating in California, and even more were signed into law last term. 2018 was Jerry Brown’s last year of his second “two-term” round as governor. Both legislatively and judicially, 2018 was a busy year, with the legislature sending more than 1,000 bills to the governor. This GT Alert … Continue Reading

Budding Use of Legal Marijuana Creates Sticky Situation for NJ Employers

Kristine J. Feher and Danielle E. Gonnella co-authored an article in the New Jersey Law Journal titled “Budding Use of Legal Marijuana Creates Sticky Situation for NJ Employers.” The article discusses the whole new arena of substance-related challenges faced by employers in states where marijuana has been legalized for medical and/or recreational use, or decriminalized. To … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: Employers May Not Consider Salary History in Deciding to Pay Men and Woman Differently

The day before Equal Pay Day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled that employers defending claims under the Equal Pay Act cannot rely on workers’ past salaries in any respect in trying to justify pay disparities between women and men. Aileen Rizo v. Jim Yovino, 16-15372, 2018 WL … Continue Reading

New Jersey Legislation Raises the Stakes in Unequal Pay Claims

Last week, the New Jersey Legislature passed a high profile bill proposing sweeping amendments to New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD). The most noteworthy amendments are designed to broaden LAD’s protections against alleged discriminatory pay practices. If Governor Murphy signs the bill into law, as is almost certain, New Jersey’s equal pay law will be … Continue Reading

Broadening the Scope of LGBT Rights Under Title VII: A Practitioner’s Guide to Zarda v. Altitude Express

On Feb. 26, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit handed down an en banc ruling in the case of Zarda v. Altitude Express, holding in a 10-3 decision that Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  Addressing a case in which a sky diving instructor was allegedly terminated … Continue Reading

April 1 Deadline for Massachusetts Pregnancy Act Requirements

Massachusetts employers are reminded that the provisions of the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the PWFA) take effect April 1, 2018. The PWFA was signed into law in July 2017, and a previous GT Alert summarizes the law’s major provisions. The PWFA amends the Massachusetts statute prohibiting employment discrimination (MA General Laws Chapter 151B) to … Continue Reading

GT’s Labor & Employment Law Update 2017

The past year saw many significant developments in the area of labor and employment law at all levels of government. Simply by way of example, new legislation imposed additional obligations on employers that operate in New Jersey and New York; federal Courts of Appeals “clarified” standards applicable to workplace discrimination claims; and under the Trump … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Enacts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

On July 27, 2017, Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker signed into law “An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.” The new law (i) prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy and (ii) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to expectant and new mothers in the workplace. … Continue Reading

Third Circuit ‘Clarifies’ that a Single Racial Slur May be Sufficiently ‘Severe’ to Create a Hostile Work Environment

Characterizing its own precedent as “inconsistent” and “confusing,” the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in a published opinion earlier this month, undertook to “clarify” the “correct standard” for establishing  a hostile work environment claim under federal anti-discrimination law (in particular, Title VII). Castleberry v. STI Group, No. 16-3131. To state such a claim, plaintiffs must … Continue Reading

New York City to Prohibit Employer Inquiries into Salary History

On May 4, 2017, New York City amended its Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to join the growing number of municipalities that prohibit employers from inquiring about applicants’ wage history. Ostensibly designed to “help break the cycle of gender pay inequity[,]” this new restriction may open employers to yet another theory the plaintiffs’ bar can seek … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Upholds Longstanding Precedent: Sexual Orientation Claims Are Not Cognizable Under Title VII

On March 10, 2017, in Evans v. Ga. Reg’l Hosp., No. 15-15234, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4301 (11th Cir. Mar. 10, 2017), the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in a majority split affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a former employee’s suit against her employer, which alleged discrimination in violation of Title VII on the … Continue Reading

The Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017

Background The final draft of the Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) and accompanying Explanatory Memorandum was published 6 December 2016. Subject to parliamentary approval, the Regulations will come into force 6 April 2017. The Regulations introduce a mandatory gender pay gap reporting requirement for non-public sector employers with at least … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Enacts Comprehensive Pay Equity Law

On Aug. 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Baker signed into law the “Act to Establish Pay Equity.” The new law is intended to address the gender wage gap by strengthening the pay disparity prohibitions under existing law. The Pay Equity Act also provides employers the opportunity to assert an affirmative defense to wage claims based on … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Revising Sex Discrimination Guidelines for Federal Contractors

On June 14, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued the final rule updating the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Program’s regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex. The updated regulations prohibit federal contractors with contracts or subcontracts totaling $10,000 or more within a 12-month period (absent other exemptions) from discriminating against employees with … Continue Reading
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